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Are there any laws prohibiting the use of home made checks, or must I always use a bank created check. Is there a legal directive I can reference?

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    In the U.S Uniform Commercial Code All you need is name of the payee, amount, name of bank, signature, date, words of conveyance, such as “pay to the order of.” Whether someone will accept this is up to them. Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 21:35
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    There are limits to what you may use. Cows are right out.
    – MSalters
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 11:03
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    Related: Is there a standard check format in the USA?
    – user42405
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 15:29
  • Technically, banks don't make (most) checks. You almost always buy them from a 3rd party.
    – chepner
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 14:25

2 Answers 2

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There is no law prohibiting it in the US.

There are certain standards that modern checks need to meet. These aren't required by law, but banks today generally insist on them. If you are able to meet these standards and print your own checks at home, you are allowed to do so.

One way this is commonly done is with purchased check blanks and check printing software. Office supply stores sell check blanks that fit into standard computer printers. This check paper includes the necessary security features of checks, and using the check printing software, you can print your personal information, including your name & address, your bank's name and address, and your account numbers.

The account numbers on the bottom of the checks are called the MICR code, which stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. Normally, these numbers were printed with special magnetic ink, which was used in automated check reading machines. Checks that you purchase from your bank still use magnetic ink; however, modern check readers are optical, and don't require magnetic ink. So you should be able to print checks with your printer using standard ink/toner, and not have a problem.

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    Reminds me of the urban legend of the guy who wrote a check to the IRS on an old t-shirt. The shirt off his back!
    – Rocky
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 21:56
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    That used to be a legal check, if the bank wanted to accept it. As part of the agreement which forced banks to clear checks in a reasonable time, I believe the requirements were made strict enough that this no longer works. (I know someone who cashed a blackboard, mumble decades ago.)
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 22:46
  • I remember, many years ago, reading a story about someone who cashed a check written on a watermelon. Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 6:24
  • Nice answer, this should not have been closed, but closed as dup, and merged. Now, I /we need to find other check question. And I'll merge. Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 12:11
  • @JoeTaxpayer I'm guessing that the close votes are because the OP didn't specify a country on a legal question. I can understand that closure. That having been said, I agree that my answer here is pretty good, and it would be a shame to lose it. :) If you can find a dupe, you could close it as dupe, but merges are clunky. (I'm not sure I've seen a good merge yet.)
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 12:40
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In the United States, You can write checks on blank paper or you can create designs, and print checks from home using an Online check writing software, the banks will accept the checks. It is legal and valid.(UCC section-3-104)
The checks must contain the following details:

Account number Routing number Check date Amount in both words and numerics and the signature of the account holder.

you can make a check from your home or office with these details and it becomes both legal and valid.

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